Fossil Friday Roundup: December 22, 2017

Featured Image: Happy Holidays from the PLOS Paleontology Community editors Andy, Jon, and Sarah!

Papers (All Open Access):

  • Rooting phylogenetic trees under the coalescent model using site pattern probabilities (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • Deepest and hottest hydrothermal activity in the Okinawa Trough: the Yokosuka site at Yaeyama Knoll (RSOS)
  • Ectomycorrhizal fungal communities in endangered Pinus amamiana forests (PLOS ONE)
  • Mandibulate convergence in an armoured Cambrian stem chelicerate (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • A new species of Xenoturbella from the western Pacific Ocean and the evolution of Xenoturbella (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • The first observations of Ischnochiton (Mollusca, Polyplacophora) movement behaviour, with comparison between habitats differing in complexity (PeerJ)
  • From ground pools to treeholes: convergent evolution of habitat and phenotype in Aedes mosquitoes (BMC Evolutionary Biology)
  • A new mesoserphid wasp from the Middle Jurassic of northeastern China (Hymenoptera, Proctotrupoidea) (European Journal of Taxonomy)
  • A new species of the antiarch Microbrachius from the Middle Devonian (Givetian) of Belarus (Estonian Journal of Earth Sciences)
  • A new myriacanthid holocephalian from the Early Jurassic of Denmark (Link)
  • Earliest known lepisosteoid extends the range of anatomically modern gars to the Late Jurassic (Scientific Reports)
  • Triggerfish uses chromaticity and lightness for object segregation (RSOS)
  • Simulations indicate that scores of lionfish (Pterois volitans) colonized the Atlantic Ocean (PeerJ)
  • The biomechanical role of the chondrocranium and sutures in a lizard cranium (JRS Interface)
  • Ecological and evolutionary significance of a lack of capacity for extended developmental arrest in crocodilian eggs (RSOS)
  • Foramina in plesiosaur cervical centra indicate a specialized vascular system (Fossil Record)
  • Underground dinosaur tracksite inside a karst of southern France: Early Jurassic tridactyl traces from the Dolomitic Formation of the Malaval Cave (Lozère) (International Journal of Speleology)
  • A basal ursine bear (Protarctos abstrusus) from the Pliocene High Arctic reveals Eurasian affinities and a diet rich in fermentable sugars (Scientific Reports)
  • Central European Woolly Mammoth Population Dynamics: Insights from Late Pleistocene Mitochondrial Genomes (Scientific Reports)
  • Underrepresentation of women in the senior levels of Brazilian science (PeerJ)


  • High-resolution magnetostratigraphy of the upper Nacimiento Formation, San Juan Basin, New Mexico, USA: implications for basin evolution and mammalian turnover (PaleorXiv)
  • Revision of the Late Jurassic crocodyliform Alligatorellus, and evidence for allopatric speciation driving high diversity in western European atoposaurids (PaleorXiv)
  • Fossil tree hollows from a Late Permian forest of the Matinde Formation (Tete, Mozambique) (PaleorXiv)
  • How has our knowledge of dinosaur diversity through geologic time changed through research history? (PaleorXiv)

Community Events, Society Updates, and Resources:

  • Apply Now For The 2018 Emerging Public Policy Leadership Award, Deadline Jan. 18, 2018 (Paleontological Society)
  • Western Association of Vertebrate Paleontologists Annual Meeting, St. George, Utah, Feb. 16–18, 2018, Abstract Deadline January 12, 2018 (Link)
  • 2018 AIBS Congressional Visits Day In Washington, DC, April 17-18, 2018 (Paleontological Society)
  • Trekking Across the GOBE: From the Cambrian through the Katian, IGCP 653 Annual Meeting, June 3-7, 2018, Athens, Ohio, USA (Link)
  • North American Paleontological Convention June 23–27 2019 (Link)

News and Views:

Animals and Anatomy:

  • Oldest fossils ever found show life on Earth began before 3.5 billion years ago (Link)
  • Decorah crinoids revisited (Equatorial Minnesota)
  • The Giant Ammonites of the Jurassic Seas (… and UCL) (UCL Blogs)
  • Squalicorax: Beast of the Week (PBW)
  • OMNH 1670, a fat shark, the past, and the future (SVPOW)
  • The incredible journey of the first African tortoise that arrived in Europe (Link)
  • A Flock of Flaplings (Laelaps)
  • Top 10 Open Access Fossil Taxa of 2017: Zuul crurivastator (PLOS Paleo)
  • Top 10 Open Access Fossil Taxa of 2017: Anatoliadelphys maasae (PLOS Paleo)
  • Pisanosaurus and the Triassic ornithischian crisis (Letters from Gondwana)
  • Make way for megamarsupials: the migration of Australia’s extinct megafauna (The Guardian)
  • Paleo Profile: Shouten’s Marsupial Lion (Laelaps)
  • Episode 24 – Sloths (Common Descent)

Museums, Methods, and Musings:

Featured Folks and Fieldwork:

  • Down to Earth With: Paleontologist Ali Nabavizadeh (Earth Magazine)
  • Kristina Barclay, Paleoecologist (Time Scavengers)
  • Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs has moved! (LITC)
  • Amphibian and Reptile Biology and Conservation, the 2017 Joint Scientific Meeting (Tetrapod Zoology)

Art, books, culture, and fun:

Do you have some news, a blog, or something just plain cool you want to share with the PLOS Paleo Community? Email it to us at, tweet it to us at @PLOSPaleo, or message us on Facebook.

Published by Sarah Z. Gibson

Dr. Sarah Z. Gibson is a paleontologist and science communicator based in Minnesota. Her research focuses on the evolutionary history of ray-finned fishes from the Early Mesozoic.

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